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Gilles Berthoud Saddles

Old 09-11-18, 04:11 PM
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wgscott
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Gilles Berthoud Saddles

Anyone have a Gilles Berthoud Saddle?

If it replaced a Brooks (eg: B17), was it an upgrade?
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Old 09-11-18, 04:26 PM
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I Have an Aravis on my randonneuring bike and an Aspin on my townie. Same saddle different rails. My randonneuring saddle has 6-7k km on it, and It's so broken in that I'm considering replacing the leather. Other than that I like the saddle a lot. I don't have any experience with Brooks. This was my first leather saddle.
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Old 09-11-18, 07:08 PM
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A GB saddle is an upgrade to any Brooks.
Have leather saddles on all of my upright bikes, including B-17, B-68, Imperial, Champion Flyer. An S. Anatomica and a GB Aravis. The Aravis is a little more like the Champion Flyer than a B-17.
Have the Aravis on my road bike, it is the most comfortable saddle/bike combination I've ever ridden.
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Old 09-11-18, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I Have an Aravis on my randonneuring bike and an Aspin on my townie. Same saddle different rails. My randonneuring saddle has 6-7k km on it, and It's so broken in that I'm considering replacing the leather. Other than that I like the saddle a lot. I don't have any experience with Brooks. This was my first leather saddle.
Just to clarify, the saddle wore out 6000 to 7000 km (3700 to 4300 miles)? I haven't even had to tighten the adjustment bolt on my Brooks in 3 to 4 times that distance.
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Old 09-11-18, 09:10 PM
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Anyone have the plastic break on those GB saddles?
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Old 09-11-18, 09:44 PM
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Internet BOB (a google group), post Grant Peterson, now Jan Heine followers,
mostly subscribers to Vintage Bike Quarterly, seem to like them .

and the Compass Bike tires..

Brooks C series all weather, saddles made in Italy (same company as Fizik)
has non metal plastic component parts too..





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-12-18 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 09-11-18, 09:49 PM
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Well, if the saddle is to my arse what Compass Tires are to the road, that would be a great endorsement.

Jan is the US distributor for these saddles (although I think you can get them elsewhere. I saw Peter White sells them too.)
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Old 09-12-18, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Just to clarify, the saddle wore out 6000 to 7000 km (3700 to 4300 miles)? I haven't even had to tighten the adjustment bolt on my Brooks in 3 to 4 times that distance.
Yes, I don't know if it's worn out or broken in, but I liked it better before it developed sit bone indentations. This is my first leather saddle, so I don't have any other experience. My butt doesn't really bother me on shorter distances so my other bikes don't have leather saddles. I'll take a picture and post it, but it might be a few days. I'd be interested if others think it's worn out or just broken in. Maybe I'm just not a leather saddle guy. I see a lot of randonneurs with the Brooks cambium saddles.
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Old 09-12-18, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
...Jan is the US distributor for these saddles (although I think you can get them elsewhere. I saw Peter White sells them too.)
I got mine from SJS
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Old 09-12-18, 09:15 AM
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Taken from Jan's blog. His bike, Brooks saddle.
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Old 09-12-18, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post

Taken from Jan's blog. His bike, Brooks saddle.
Those ain't no Compass tires, neither!
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Old 09-12-18, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post

Yes, I don't know if it's worn out or broken in, but I liked it better before it developed sit bone indentations. This is my first leather saddle, so I don't have any other experience. My butt doesn't really bother me on shorter distances so my other bikes don't have leather saddles. I'll take a picture and post it, but it might be a few days. I'd be interested if others think it's worn out or just broken in. Maybe I'm just not a leather saddle guy. I see a lot of randonneurs with the Brooks cambium saddles.
Obviously I am only guessing, but I think it is probably just about broken in, and could now benefit from application of the adjustment bolt. I'd at least give it a try before doing anything drastic.
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Old 09-14-18, 03:34 AM
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Here are a few photos. Broken in or worn out?



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Old 09-14-18, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I Have an Aravis on my randonneuring bike and an Aspin on my townie. Same saddle different rails. My randonneuring saddle has 6-7k km on it, and It's so broken in that I'm considering replacing the leather. Other than that I like the saddle a lot. I don't have any experience with Brooks. This was my first leather saddle.
I interpret this as meaning the GB saddle has failed. But this is rather amazing!
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Old 09-14-18, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post

Yes, I don't know if it's worn out or broken in, but I liked it better before it developed sit bone indentations. This is my first leather saddle, so I don't have any other experience. My butt doesn't really bother me on shorter distances so my other bikes don't have leather saddles. I'll take a picture and post it, but it might be a few days. I'd be interested if others think it's worn out or just broken in. Maybe I'm just not a leather saddle guy. I see a lot of randonneurs with the Brooks cambium saddles.
Well, whatever kind of saddle guy you are now, you might be a different kind in the future. I would not change my saddle because some guy online is amazed at how the saddle has changed in your usage. If you have the option to replace the leather and you want a saddle that rides the way this did when new, why not replace the leather? You could jump to another saddle design or brand, but it might not do what you want it to, and then you're in the saddle soup, seeking satisfaction in different designs.
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Old 09-14-18, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I interpret this as meaning the GB saddle has failed. But this is rather amazing!
Agree, looks aged like a fine wine with a beautiful patina!
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Old 09-14-18, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Well, whatever kind of saddle guy you are now, you might be a different kind in the future. I would not change my saddle because some guy online is amazed at how the saddle has changed in your usage. If you have the option to replace the leather and you want a saddle that rides the way this did when new, why not replace the leather? You could jump to another saddle design or brand, but it might not do what you want it to, and then you're in the saddle soup, seeking satisfaction in different designs.
I have a lot of bikes with a lot of different saddles, and my butt doesn't really bother me that much. I rode a full SR series and a 1,200k on this one this year and it was fine, I just liked it better when it was new, so I might get a new cover, which is a nice benefit of this saddle design. I don't really understand your post.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Here are a few photos. Broken in or worn out?
That central ridge is quite prominent.

I'd tighten it up, but if that doesn't immediately improve things, I would agree with replacing it (and with a lifespan like that, I would move on ...).
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Old 09-14-18, 01:44 PM
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I may have done something wrong with the maintenance like over-oiled or got it too wet with rain and sweat. I haven't seen any other reports of people complaining that the GB saddles don't last very long.
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Old 09-14-18, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
That central ridge is quite prominent.

I'd tighten it up, but if that doesn't immediately improve things, I would agree with replacing it (and with a lifespan like that, I would move on ...).
WG, if the ridge is prominent, wouldn't you want to loosen it?

I had a Brooks Pro on my Paramount for 37 years. The leather finally was failing, in part because I never Proofided it. Comfortable as all get out. I just bought a Schwinn Superior (Chrome-moly frame, hand fillet-brazed by the merry Paramounters at Schwinn) and would love to have that saddle back, even though it's failing. I may just break down and splurge to get another Professional - the Ti one. Quite dear, but if its as comfortable as my old saddle, wow.
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Old 09-14-18, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
WG, if the ridge is prominent, wouldn't you want to loosen it?
You are probably right. I have yet to touch the adjustment on any of my (Brooks) saddles. (I've heard some people say the best maintenance advice is to misplace the tool.)
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Old 09-14-18, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
the best maintenance advice is to misplace the tool.)


Back in the day, Schwinn actually had a machine that preconditioned the Brooks saddle. Had rollers and stuff. I never adjusted by Brooks in ~40 years.
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Old 09-15-18, 05:02 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I have a lot of bikes with a lot of different saddles, and my butt doesn't really bother me that much. I rode a full SR series and a 1,200k on this one this year and it was fine, I just liked it better when it was new, so I might get a new cover, which is a nice benefit of this saddle design. I don't really understand your post.
If the saddle worked very well before it softened, I would probably go ahead and replace the leather.
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Old 09-17-18, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Internet BOB (a google group), post Grant Peterson, now Jan Heine followers,
mostly subscribers to Vintage Bike Quarterly, seem to like them .

and the Compass Bike tires..

Brooks C series all weather, saddles made in Italy (same company as Fizik)
has non metal plastic component parts too..
...
I have a C-17 and I have had it apart to loctite the torx bolts, and apart from the actual saddle material (rubber/canvas) there is no plastic anywhere on the saddle, just chrome-moly and aluminum.
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